Northrop T-38A Talon – NASA, Columbia Space Shuttle Chase Plane 1982
Out of stock
Out of stock
Hobby Master 1/72 scale HA5401: Northrop T-38A N923NA of NASA, based at White Sands Space Harbor, NM, STS-3 Landing March 30th 1982. Production run of 1,500 models.
Length 8.75 inches Wingspan 4.5 inches
NASA operates the Northrop T-38 Talon as a jet trainer for their astronauts as well as a “chase plane”. Part of the NASA Talon fleet is based at Sheppard AFB, Ellington Field, Houston, Texas. In 1966 T-38 66-8355 was delivered to the USAF but in 1969 the aircraft was transferred to NASA Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) and later renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC). With NASA 66-8355 became N923NA on September 10, 1969. On March 30, 1982 N923NA was the “chase aircraft” for the return of the shuttle Columbia.
Designed as a supersonic jet trainer to replace the T-33, the T-38 was based on the F-5 Freedom Fighter airframe and was first flown on March 10th, 1959. The pressurized tandem-seat cockpit offers excellent visibility for both student and instructor and provides a comfortable training environment. Being both lightweight and nimble, the T-38 is used extensively to prepare military pilots for high performance jet aircraft and has earned the nickname “White Rocket”. The T-38 was famously flown by the USAF Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron during the 1970s and proved popular with NASA who use it as an astronaut trainer and chase-plane.